Guarana Extract

Guarana extract is derived from the seeds of small red fruit grown on large shrubs found in the Brazilian Rain Forest. These shrubs can grow to a height of forty feet.

Ancient South American Indian tribes would dry and roast the seeds, crush them, and then mix it into a paste with water. The paste was used mainly as an astringent, a stimulant, and in treating chronic diarrhoea.

Today the plant is used worldwide for it stimulant and thermogenic properties.

How it Works

One of the main ingredients in guarana extract is a form of caffeine called guaranine. Unlike caffeine, guaranine is slow to release and doesn’t give the initial quick burst of energy and then the quick let-down. Since the seed is fatty and not water-soluble, it is not quick to absorb in the body so the energy boost will escalate over a number of hours instead of all at once. This makes the active ingredients in guarana more beneficial for the body.

Benefits

Guarana extract is reported to increase mental alertness, helps to fight fatigue, and increase stamina and endurance. Millions of people believe it also helps to overcome fatigue, helps to fight against premature aging, and detoxifies the blood. Other reported benefits of guarana extract are that it combats flatulence, obesity, dyspepsia, and used to fight against arteriosclerosis. Guarana extract is also used as an ingredient in some shampoos for oily hair and as a treatment for hair loss.

In 1989, scientists discovered that guarana extract inhibited platelet aggregation which means the extract prevents blood platelets from forming clots and helps to breakdown clots that have already formed. This preventative action helps to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

A Brazilian research group found that guarana extract also has antibacterial properties which fight against E. coli, Salmonella and dysentery.

The thermogenic properties of guarana extract increases the body’s natural temperature and metabolic rate thereby increasing weight loss. It does this by inducing the breakdown and release of stored body fat and converting it to energy. This process helps the individuals with weight loss and weight management.

Studies released in the June, 2001 Journal of Human Nutrition Diet reported that participants given the guarana extract during a 45 day study lost 11.22 more pounds than the participants who were not given the extract. This study strengthens its claim of benefiting individuals who are trying to lose weight and those attempting to maintain their current weight.

How Safe Is It?

In the United States, guarana holds a “Generally Regarded As Safe” (GRAS) status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A 1998 toxicology study showed that guarana is nontoxic even at a dose of 2 grams of guarana per kilogram of body weight.

Since guarana extract contains a high concentration of caffeine, it could cause heart palpitations or irregular heart rhythms for people who are sensitive to caffeine.

Other reported side effects include insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and elevated blood pressure.

With its many health benefits, it’s no wonder the popularity of guarana extract has been steadily increasing worldwide. It has been recommended that between 500-1000 mg be consumed three times daily to maximize the benefits of guarana extract.

Please consult your doctor or health professional before changing your diet or before starting to take health supplements.